UK Gardeners Urged To Take A Cotton Bud To Their Lawn

Failing to do so could damage your grass.
Flavio Coelho via Getty Images

As the warmer spring rolls around, gardeners might be gearing up to mow their lawns.

But Timothy Greene at has said that it might be a little too early for some lawns; and cutting them now can even cause some significant damage.

“People might be keen to get their gardens sorted in time for spring but mowing your lawn when the grass is too short can cause damage and stop it growing back properly,” he said.

There’s actually a specific height at which it’s safe to cut your lawn ― and you can find it by taking a cotton bud to your lawn, Greene says.


“The ideal height for grass to be before you cut is around 5cm to 7cm, which is around the same height as a cotton earbud,” the lawn expert revealed.

“This height means the grass is growing well and is safe to cut. But you should also make sure there’s no frost and the lawn isn’t wet either,” he says.

It’s important to make sure that you have your lawnmower on its highest setting when lopping your lawn, Greene says. This will ensure you don’t accidentally harm your lawn by cutting its grass too short.

If your grass never manages to reach the cotton bud height, Greene warns, you could have an underlying problem in your lawn.

“Lawns have had to deal with frost, heavy rain, and other challenges over the winter so there might be areas that need extra care. Whether that’s a feed to battle any diseases or new seeds sowed to cover patches,” Greene said.

What’s the best time to cut my lawn?

Aside from waiting until your grass is tall enough to cut, you should also keep an eye out on the weather, Greene warns.

Mowing your lawn after a frosty night could weaken the grass, he suggests.

“Mid-March is a good time to give your grass its first cut of the year but of course, weather conditions vary so keep an eye on your local forecast to get the right grass-cutting conditions,” Greene explains.

“Your grass’ growth will have stopped over winter but generally kickstarts again when temperatures are around 10C,” he adds.

“You should also make sure your mower’s blades are not too dull as this could cause damage to your grass. And in turn, make sure your lawn is clear from debris so that it doesn’t cause damage to your mower.”

Once you’ve gotten your grass high enough, and the weather warm enough, to get strumming, you should keep a schedule, Greene says.

“After the first mow of the year, you should aim to cut your grass weekly. But do keep an eye on the weather as it can be unpredictable.”

Ah, the joys of a British garden...